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Incense Use Within Wicca
Scent can be a very beneficial addition to rituals, spells and other spiritual working. Smell has the power to change our moods and emotions as well as triggering memories of past events, people or places. Some scents also have the capability to alter states of consciousness and can be used as aids to meditation.
Naturally produced scents that are being used in the form of essential oils, herbs or incense also carry the energy and magical and spiritual properties of each of their ingredients. These can be utilised to enrich and boost the power of magical workings such as rituals and spells.
Types of Incense
Incense is available to buy in several forms known as loose incense, sticks and cones. Bought incense is most commonly found in stick or cone form which can be lit and allowed to burn down in a suitable incense holder. Loose incense is less commonly found to buy but is the easiest type to make at home. This is ideal for spiritual and ritual use as any combination of ingredients can be mixed to suit your own tastes and needs. Loose incense is burnt using incense stove or burner or by burning it on lit charcoal disks.
Loose incense can be used with single ingredients or a combination of herbs, gums, flowers, resins, spices and other natural materials can be mixed to create a huge variety of combinations. Some incense recipes also includes essential oils and other ingredients such as honey, dried fruit or wine. These are often used when wishing to blind the other ingredients together such as when making your own incense cones. The use of honey, dried fruits or wine as binding agents not only adds the energy and properties of the substance to the incense but also means that the ingredients are kept natural.
Making Your Own Loose Incense
To make your own loose incense you will need the appropriate ingredients, a pestle and mortar and small bags, bottles or other containers in which to store the finished incense. Blends can be created based on your own tastes and favourite scents or by using recipes that are readily available in books and online.
Recipes can be found intended for specific seasons or Sabbats and also in relation to many other things including astrological signs, meditation or relaxation or designed to encourage or increase a specific emotion or mood.
Care should be taken when using and blending ingredients for incense. As with aromatherapy, the aromas produced can have unwanted effects or be unsuitable for people with certain medical conditions, babies, children or pregnant women.
How to Burn Loose Incense.
When burning incense it is important to use a strong heat proof container. It doesn’t have to be one intended for incense but needs to be able to withstand the heat from the burning charcoal. First fill the bottom of the container with sand for the charcoal to sit on. Using tweezers or tongs, hold a charcoal disk over a flame such as on a gas cooker hob. Once the charcoal begins to glow red carefully place it on to the sand.
Allow the charcoal to sit for a few minutes so that the heat can spread throughout the charcoal disk. Now add a small amount of the loose incense on top.
Incense correspondences in Wicca
Each ingredient that is used in incense making has its own individual properties and correspondences. These can be utilised in magical work, rituals, spells and meditations. For example if you wish to cast a spell for prosperity using herbs to blend incense suited to this will help boost the power of the spell.
Sometimes fresh blends of herbs are also included in items such as poppets and sachets created with magical intent. Any of these can be used on their own or mixed to combine or enhance particular properties.
Some herbal magic correspondences are as follows:
Allspice – Attracts good luck and money.
Angelica root – used for protection.
Aniseed – Used as meditation incense.
Basil – Protects again evil. Attracts love, good luck, sympathy and wealth.
Bay – Aids psychic powers and brings on prophetic dreams.
Benzoin – Used for purification and to attract prosperity.
Cardamon – Attracts love.
Cedar – Used for purification and to strengthen psychic powers. Attracts love and prevents nightmares.
Chamomile – Breaks previously cast spells.
Cinnamon – Attracts money and strengthens psychic powers.
Clove – Dispels negativity and purifies magical and sacred spaces. Stops the spread of gossip.
Copal – Used for purification and to attract love.
Dill seed – For cleansing sacred spaces.
Dragon’s blood – Dispels negativity and evil.
Elderflowers – Used for protection.
Fennel – Useful for purification, protection and healing.
Frankincense – Purifies magical spaces and dispels negativity. Used an as aid to meditation and be induce psychic visions.
Hawthorn – Used in faerie magic.
Hibiscus - Attracts love.
Jasmine – Attracts love and money.
Juniper – Increases psychic powers.
Lavender – Induces sleep and relaxation.
Mace – Increases psychic powers.
Mint – Increases sexual desire and attracts money.
Myrrh – Used for purification, consecration and banishing evil.
Nutmeg – Aids mediation and attracts prosperity.
Oak bark – Increases courage and male virility.
Patchouli – Attracts love and money. Promotes fertility.
Pine – Banishes negative energies.
Poppy seeds – Increases female fertility and attracts love.
Rose –Increase courage and attracts love.
Rosemary – Purifies prevents nightmares and decreases depression. Attracts faeries and aids a restful sleep.
Rue – Promotes good health.
Sage – Increases wisdom and used for protection.
Tansy – Used to purify ritual tools.
Vervain – Good for protection, purification, love and healing.
Yarrow – Useful in divination.
Mix all ingredients in a pestle and mortar and crush together. Store in containers or small bags out of direct sunlight and away from heat.
1 tsp rose petals
1 tsp honeysuckle
½ tsp sandalwood
3 tsp sandalwood
½ tsp lavender
½ tsp marjoram
1 tsp lemon peel
½ tsp calamus root
½ tsp juniper berries
½ tsp frankincense
3 tsp sandalwood
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp coriander
Business Success Incense
2 tsp benzoin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp basil
Care must be taken when using incense to avoid burns, fire or damage to surfaces and other items from the heat. Always use heat proof or specially designed incense holders and burners. Incense should be kept out of reach of children and animals and should never be burnt near flammable items such as books or curtains.
Burning incense should be placed on a solid stable surface and should not be left unattended at any time. When you have finished using your incense, ensure that the incense and charcoal are fully out and have completely cooled before discarding. Herbs can be buried or composted if desired. If you are worried that the incense or charcoal may still be burning water can be used to ensure it is fully out and safe to dispose of.
© 2013 Claire